Saturday, December 02, 2006

Twisted Minds

When we lived in Delhi my Friday mornings, as I have mentioned previously, were often spent in Gurgaon at the home of one of the ladies of Twisted Thread: a craft group. Several of the women cross-stitch, I knitted, and still others worked on various projects like patchwork or sewing. What we all seemed to have in common was that we were all women who were rather twisted. Mentally that is.

The greatest evidence of this mutual insanity may be that they let me into the group in the first place. Exhibit B would be that they were often brave enough to be seen with yours truly in public for lunch after our industrious work at Craft Group. Luckily for me that bravely and craziness hasn’t changed much since I left back in June.

On Friday the group changed its usual venue and gathered in Delhi at Princess MK’s house. The group arrived at the usual 10 a.m. with a promptness and comfortable familiarity that made me feel as if I had never left. Some of the regulars like Queen E, who was busy painting sets (an endeavor from which I was busy playing hooky), were unable to join us. On this particular Friday, our klatch consisted of myself and the Princess, the Ladies J, Doc Quilt, and Crafty C.

Discussions were underway about where we would spend our well-earned lunch hour when C’s phone suddenly rang. The voice at the other end of the line spoke rushed Hindi to which C, in her very proper British accent, replied that she didn’t speak Hindi and that they had the wrong number. The call was one that we had all received at some point or other. It seemed; however, that C had better than average skills at convincing people of their lack of dialing success as her phone continued to lay silent for several minutes.

Just as we were about to give up the wrong number discussion the Newest Lady J pulled out her now ringing phone. There was a similar urgent Hindi message on the other end to which Lady J politely replied before hanging up. About thirty seconds later the phone rang again and, shockingly, it was the same person.

That, Dearest Reader, is how the mayhem and laughter began.

Lady J’s phone sang out a third time and was welcomed with a communal groan as we all shook our heads at this guy’s inability to take a hint. This time; however, Lady J had a trick up her sleeve.

“Hola! Cómo éstas?” The one one-sided, now Spanish, conversation, continued in this vein with the non-Spanish speaking and frustrated Indian on the other side being the one to hang up. We all laughed and applauded Lady J’s ingenuity. The group also agreed that this was the best and soon to be official way to get rid of the wrong number callers. Our gaiety was, naturally, stopped short when the phone rang again a few minutes later.

Deciding that it was now my turn to torment a local, I had Lady J throw me her phone. Grinning, I answered it with my most nails-on-a-chalkboard-inducing Quebecois accent. “Bonjour! Comment je peux vous aider? Parlez-vous français?” The ladies cackled gleefully and then triumphantly when our erstwhile caller finally gave up the ghost.

Our rather anilingual room quickly realized that we had no more languages among us in case our friend called back. This led to a litany of accents and voices worthy of a Saturday-morning cartoon that we could use in lieu of language torture. In deference to the Christmas album that Princess had been playing, I offered to be Alvin complete with helium sounding tones and demands for a new hula-hoop. Aussies, cheerleaders, southerners and others were all offered up with increasing levels of guffaws. Then brilliance struck and, thankfully, so did our phone stalker.

After Crafty C confirmed the identity of our mystery caller, Lady J took custody of her phone back. “Yo! Yo! Yo! Why you be hasslin’ my ho? You ‘bin callin’ my hizzle getting’ up in my grill? Ah’s goin’ ta cap yo ass if you keep this up! Fo shizzle!” By this time my hands were both securely clapped over my mouth to prevent any sudden giggle from bursting free.

With a final “fo shizzle my hizzle” that Snoop himself would have been impressed with, the line disconnected and the sounds of hilarity echoed as our laughter rose and we all doubled over with the combined glory of certain success with our erstwhile phone friend, and the full blooded joy of warriors who had defeated, with the mighty rapier humor, our common enemy.

Fo shizzle!

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